Aviation Security Funding
The Issue: Business travelers support DHS/TSA efforts to keep air transportation safe but oppose an increase in the security fee paid by passengers. Instead of increasing its budget and staffing, TSA should expand PreCheck and other risk-based screening programs. Expedited airport checkpoint screening of low-risk passengers would reduce TSA staffing and equipment needs, reduce wait times, and keep air travel safe.
Each year, travelers and airlines pay billions of dollars in security fees, unnecessarily increasing fares. Higher air fares significantly increase travel costs for travel buyers and sellers, decreasing the number of business trips and those buying business travel services. That, in turn, slows business growth, jobs creation, and overall economic success. Taxes on a typical $300 round-trip ticket have nearly tripled since 1972, increasing from 7% to 20%. Particularly in today’s tough economy, business travelers should not be hit with another discriminatory tax that discourages travel.
The Administration continues to push for a fee increase. Although the House rejected the increase in its bill to fund 2013 TSA operations (2013 DHS Appropriations bill), the Senate bill doubled the fee to a flat $5.00 for a one-way trip. Although the proposed increase has been met by a “brick wall” by many members of Congress as they try to agree on a 2013 budget, the debate continues as budget deficit reduction and agency spending reductions remain on the table.
GBTA Position: GBTA opposes the security fee increase as it is unnecessary and counterproductive. Rather than pushing for higher fees, the federal government should focus its resources on full implementation of PreCheck and other risk-based programs that keep air transportation safe while reducing TSA costs.
GBTA Opposes Security Fee Increase